NYPD Needs a Babysitter, Says New Lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27:  Members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) take part in a promotion ceremony attended by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at Police Headquarters on January 27, 2012 in New York City. Kelly appeared in the film "The Third Jihad" Muslim groups are asking him to step down, saying that the film they depicts Islam and its followers in a bad light. The film was shown to hundreds and maybe thousands of NYPD officers for training purposes. Commissioner Kelly refused to answer questions relating to rape allegations involving his son, TV host Greg Kelly.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images2012 Getty Images

The widespread and well-documented surveillance of Muslims in and around New York was so “flagrant and persistent,” according to a new lawsuit, that the NYPD deserves to be punished. In addition to seeking an injunction against the warrantless spying, civil rights attorneys are arguing for a police auditor to oversee the department. “There is substantial persuasive evidence” — including the long-running Associated Press series on the program — “that the defendants are conducting investigations into organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim faith and the Muslim community in New York, and have been doing so for years, using intrusive methods, without a reasonable indication of unlawful activity, or a criminal predicate of any sort,” the motion argues. While the NYPD says it follows the relevant Handschu guidelines, a judge may get a chance to make sure for the first time since 2005.